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2017 NCHSAA Realignment

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Baxter's Blitz - Class 5A Week Four


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#1 Jim Baxter

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 11:00 AM

MMQB Four

National high school football analyst Jim Baxter breaks down all of the action in South Carolina and here's a look at the Week Four Action from the Class 5A.

  
REGION 1
THE GAME WHAT IT MEANS
TL Hanna knocked off 4A top ten BHP 33-14 The Jackets move to 4-0 on the season and  every game has been a quality opponent. The Jakets have outscored their opponents 33-16 on average. With two games remaining before region play, it looks like the Jackets are the cream of the crop in this region.
Westside lost to South Aiken 28-8 to drop to 2-2 on the season. We knew this team was going to struggle on defense, graduating the majority of their talent last year. But losing their quarterback two weeks ago has been a detriment to the offense, and they are a minus 1.25 in points scored versus points allowed, giving up 22 points per game. They must step up defensively if they are going to have a shot at any kind of playoff picture.
Easley lost to Wren 29-26 to move to 2-2 on year. This team has lost their last two games, allowing 72 points defensively in those two losses. They are not a powerhouse on offense so they could be in trouble when region play starts if they can't tighten it up on defense.
Woodmont lost to Mauldin 23-21 to move to 1-3 on the season This team has no offense. They are averaging just 13 points per game and are giving up 23 points per game.
J.L. Mann lost to Hillcrest 56-16 to move to 1-3 on the season. With a lone win to Southside in week one, this team may be the worst in the region on the offensive side of the football and are definitely the worst on defense. Looking at the stats from this region, that is BAD. They are averaging 12 points per game and have allowed 173 points in four games.
MY TAKE This region is going to be T.L. Hanna's to lose. I don't see a team in the region competing with them on either side of the football and they are going to be a contender in the upstate. As for the next spot? Dart toss. I think Westside is my pick just based off of coaching alone but they have to get things going on offense.


REGION 2
THE GAME WHAT IT MEANS
Hillcrest beat J.L. Mann 56-16 Finally some defense, but don't get too excited; it was against the worst offense in the Region 1 and maybe the worst in the upstate 5A.  
Laurens lost to Irmo 28-21 to go to 1-2 The Raiders played tough against a good Irmo football team but gave up a late touchdown to lose the game. This team is scoring points but their defense is killing them right now, allowing almost 36 points per game.
Mauldin beat Woodmont 23-21 to improve to 2-1 They are allowing just 18 points per game but they've played two pretty bad teams in the two wins. We really need to see how they fare against good competition and that will be next week against unbeaten T.L. Hanna
Wade Hampton lost to unbeaten Eastside 49-0 This team is terrible offensively, having been shut out the past two games and scoring just 9 points in week one. They are giving up close to 40 points per game. Look for a long season.
Riverside was idle this week at 1-2.
Greenwood vs Goose Creek was postponed This game may not be made up; we will keep you posted on this.
MY TAKE Greenwood is the team to beat and I think in the driver's seat. They will only improve as the season goes on. Mauldin and Hillcrest will compete for the 2nd spot and after that it just doesn't matter.


REGION 3
THE GAME WHAT IT MEANS
Byrnes beat Northwestern 48-14 to improve to 4-0 The Rebels are for real. This was a quality team they were playing and they dominated with big defensive plays, forcing turnovers and capitolizing on mistakes. Right now, there is not a team in the state playing better football in any classification. Rebels are giving up just 10 points per game.
Spartanburg beat Union 41-7 to improve to 2-2 The Vikings got a good win over a not-so-good team. They are running the football well but have only faced one "quality" opponent (T.L. Hanna) and were blanked by them. We will get a good look next week against Northwestern.
Boiling Springs beat Rock Hill 48-23 to move to 2-1 The Bulldogs played strong against a team that seems to be playing better defense this season. I would say at this point in the season, they are the second best team in the region behind Byrnes.
Gaffney lost to Harding (NC) 35-28 to move to 1-2 The Indians struggled against the run in this game, as they did against T.L. Hanna. They've allowed 70 points in their two losses and must correct that defense before region play or they will finish dead last.
Dorman was idle this week at 1-2
MY TAKE Any team in this region could win it but right now, smart money is on Byrnes. The Rebels are playing outstanding defense right now and their offense is only going to get better. I think Spartanburg and Boiling Springs are the next two. Dorman has a lot of work to do and Gaffney is proving to be vulnerable on defense and could find themselves last in the region.


REGION 4
THE GAME WHAT IT MEANS
Rock Hill lost to Boiling Springs 48-23 This team is now 1-3 on the season and are only averaging 18 points per game on offense. Their defense is not terrible but are getting hung out to dry by their lack of offensive production each game.
Northwestern lost to Byrnes 48-14 This was a drubbing and lets hope that it is because Byrnes is just "that good." The Trojans are getting good play from their sophomore quarterback and right now I still think are the team to beat in this region.
Fort Mill beat Orangeburg-Wilkinson 31-9 The Yellow Jackets are playing good football - best in the region right now. They are averaging 35 points  per game in their last three games, allowing just 12 points per game in those three wins.
Nation Ford lost to York 21-17 This team is now 0-3 on the year and are scoring just 11 points per game and allowing 34 points per game. They are playing the worst football in the region.
Clover lost to South Pointe (NC) 28-0 The team falls to 3-1 and we will now start getting some measuring sticks as they start taking on familiar SC teams next week.
MY TAKE This team is anyone's ball game - well, almost anyone. Northwestern has the biggest upside here and Fort Mill and Clover will battle for the 2nd spot. Rock Hill has to improve in all phases of the game. Nation Ford is not even in the discussion at this point.


REGION 5
THE GAME WHAT IT MEANS
Spring Valley beat Sumter 51-34 This was a huge win, coming from a three touchdown deficit in the first quarter. This Vikings team is playing as good as any team in the state right now and appears to be the team to beat in Region 5 right now, with Dutch Fork yet to show anything.
Irmo beat Laurens 28-21 The Jackets are 4-0 but this game was a little revealing. The Raiders are not a very good football team on defense and Irmo had to score late to get this win. I think the Jackets are in the mix for a top spot in the region but not THE top spot at this point. I see them as a 3rd place team in the region right now.
White Knoll beat Keenan 41-13 The Wolves are 3-0. BUT. They have faced just one quality opponent in South Aiken and gave up a lot of points in that game and had to use a two-point conversion to put the game away. I like them as a top three in the region team but still need to see a dominating performance against a quality opponent.
Lexington lost to North Augusta  40-14 Yes, they are 3-1. But this team played terrible against a good North Augusta team. Turnovers and poor special teams play will haunt them this season if they do not fix it. They are not talented enough to make mistakes. They must get better on offense because they are haning a good defense out to dry when play poorly.
Blythewood lost 28-9 to Westwood 2-2 on the year and I'm not quite sure what to make of them. There are moments they play like contenders and other times pretenders. I can't count the Rock Hill win as a quality win and while Fairfield Central is a power in their pond, they ARE a 3A football team.
River Bluff lost to Dreher 14-7 This team is not very good at 1-3 and quite frankly, I'm still trying to figure out how they beat Lugoff-Elgin. With very little offensive production  and allowing 27 points per game, they are playing the worst football in the region.
Dutch Fork postponed Summerville game I don't see this game being made up
MY TAKE Spring Valley and Dutch Fork will produce the region winner in my opinion right now. Irmo and White Knoll could be the teams to battle for that third spot. Lexington is a sleeper; if they can imrpove on offense, they could be in the mix for the third or fourth spot as well. Blythewood is in the same boat as Lexington. River Bluff is still standing in front of the drawing board.


REGION 6
THE GAME WHAT IT MEANS
Conway beat Hartsville 35-21 This team is now 4-0 and I believe the team to beat in this region. This was a good team they beat at Hartsville and this defense is only allowing 10 points per game.
Socastee beat Myrtle Beach 51-34  3-0 and this team is playing lights out football. They are averaging 44 points per game on offense and that is the difference. They are definitley in the mix for this region.
Sumter lost to Spring Valley 51-34 This team is the most physical in the region. That's the good. The bad is, they can't pass a lick. That makes them vulnerable and must be corrected.
Carolina Forst lost to Hoggard (NC) 21-0 First good defense they've faced and was unable to move the football and gave up 21 points.
South Florence lost to Wilson 19-3 1-2 against some good football teams. I think this team will be competitive when region starts but I don't see them finishing higher than fourth
West Florence was idle this week
MY TAKE There are legitimately three teams that could win this region: Conway, Socastee or Sumter. Right now, I like Conway; they are the most complete team. Socastee needs to tighten up on defense and Sumter has to find another dimension to their offense. Carolina Forest has not shown me anything against a quality opponent so right now, they are in the fight for fourth with South and West Florence.


REGION 7
THE GAME WHAT IT MEANS
Fort Dorchester was idle
Ashley Ridge was idle
Summerville vs Dutch Fork postponed
Goose Creek vs Greenwood postponed
James Island was idle
Wando was idle
Stratford lost to Georgetown 47-49 This team is giving up 46 points a game and averaging just 26 on offense. They are playing the worst football in the region at 0-3.
MY TAKE Fort Dorchester will win this region and more than likely play for a state title - or at least a semi-final match up. The rest of this region is mediocre or worse.


#2 midlandsfan

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:57 AM

Really liking the format of these updates.  Keep this up!  Easy to read and very informative. Thanks!



#3 SC Dominates NC

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:23 PM

Will there be a blitz for 3 A as well

#4 Jim Baxter

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 01:13 PM

Will there be a blitz for 3 A as well

Yes sir...working on it tonight. I'm trying to work a schedule (editorial calendar) with the same things on the same days each week. The Storm put me behind this week but I will be trying to have the Blitz stories out by Tuesday each week. 



#5 Jim Baxter

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 01:13 PM

Really liking the format of these updates.  Keep this up!  Easy to read and very informative. Thanks!

Thank you!



#6 Reality

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:41 PM

Love the format, and the honest comments. Many times we have found ourselves in an age where criticism is frowned upon because it might hurt someone's feelings. But in many cases the criticism is needed. Tough to see a lot of programs that seem to tolerate mediocrity, or worse.

#7 SC Dominates NC

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:46 PM

Love the format, and the honest comments. Many times we have found ourselves in an age where criticism is frowned upon because it might hurt someone's feelings. But in many cases the criticism is needed. Tough to see a lot of programs that seem to tolerate mediocrity, or worse.


I couldn't agree more. Love the break down of the regions and how things may shake out after in the season.




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